Riot Gear By Matt Crowther

Walk into a dive shop, tell a member of staff that you want an all-purpose watersports suit and they will probably look slightly confused, then sell you a wetsuit meant for diving. The reality is that most suits are designed with a particular sport in mind, so people who enjoy many different watersports will probably end up with two or three different suits each for a different activity. The Typhoon Riot, one of the first of a new range from the company, is designed to perform both above and below the surface, making it usable for a variety of watersports.

Most of the suit is constructed from double-lined 5mm and 3mm neoprene rubber. This is perfect for diving as it is abrasion-resistant and unlikely to become snagged on equipment. A smooth skin 5mm chest and stomach area at the front and rear of the suit, is great for surface watersports, and will reduce wind-chill when you’re wet at the end of a dive – smooth skin neoprene is a fine mesh that dries quickly and prevents cold air passing through the suit to your body – why it is used for surface watersports suits.

The suit is fitted with strong rubber kneepads that, while slightly restrictive, help prevent wear that can be caused by kneeling on the sea-bed. Titanium inside the suit-lining slows down the conduction of heat away from your body.

The medium/large suit I used, tailored nicely to my body, produced a comfortable, non-restrictive fit. The seams are butted together with glue and are double blind stitched, (a blind stitch goes only halfway through the suit), combining good looks with durability.

Typhoon has fitted removable ankle-straps for water-skiers that can be pulled tight to stop water going up the leg. I tried diving both with and without these and found that they caused water to gather and balloon around my ankles. Although this only affected me when I got out of the water, it looked rather strange and was a little uncomfortable so I didn’t use them.

I dived with the Riot in the Red Sea for one week, where I was doing between two and four dives a day. Most of these were with a camera, which meant that I was stationary for long periods on each dive. While I cannot draw a conclusion on the suit’s performance when worn for other watersports, overall the Riot was a warm, comfortable suit to dive in and one I would happily use again. The price for the 5mm, which was tested, is £139 and the 3mm version with detachable sleeves (pictured above) is £99.

• Contact Typhoon on 01642 486104.

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